This briefing note, published within the EU-funded Horizon 2020 project NATURVATION, takes a critical look at the value and limits of climate nature-based solutions to deliver on biodiversity goals. Building on research findings from NATURVATION, the brief discusses the question: How can we realise the added value of urban climate nature-based solutions for biodiversity?
The Urban Agenda for the EU recognizes the importance of nature-based solutions as tools for sustainable recovery and development. Yet implementation and mainstreaming at city level remain limited. Can the European Green Deal support these efforts? What role can European research projects play? To answer these questions, McKenna Davis was invited as an expert to contribute to the European Urban Knowledge Network’s (EUKN) Policy Lab on 'The Urban Agenda for the EU, its 'green' actions and the European Green Deal'. The 18 March 2021 event aimed to unravel the 'green' actions of the Urban Agenda for the EU and develop concrete messages for the ministers under Slovenia's Presidency on how to support cities dealing with regulatory obstacles when trying to reach environmental goals.
Green roofs make buildings cool. Literally. As cities deal with the impacts of climate change, green roofs can offer solutions and help with rainwater management, insulation and cooling, amongst other benefits. No matter the weather, installing a green roof also benefits biodiversity and can transform inaccessible, unused areas into inspiring communal green spaces in the middle of densely built urban centres.
What role can nature-based solutions (NBS) play in climate change adaptation and mitigation? How can NBS be applied in order to achieve integrated risk management and resilience? These questions were addressed at the 'Paris Forum on NBS'. Sandra Naumann, Senior Researcher at Ecologic Institute, presented in the plenary session insights from city initiatives in Europe to demonstrate the potential of nature-based solution and to highlight remaining challenges needing to be addressed.
On 5 May 2020, the expert workshop "Urban nature-based solutions in Germany – experiences, successes and future challenges" took place online as part of the NATURVATION project. At this workshop, more than 60 experts from policy, administration, practice and research jointly discussed current challenges, need for action and options for a broader application of nature-based solutions in Germany.
At the 2019 European Urban Green Infrastructure Conference (EUGIC), Ecologic Institute's McKenna Davis chaired a session looking at the role of Horizon 2020 funding for nature-based solutions (NBS) and co-organized a side session to present insights from the NATURVATION project. The conference took place from 10 to 11 April 2019 in London (England). Approximately 350 urban green infrastructure experts, practitioners, policy makers, designers and implementers came together to share and celebrate nature-based solutions for climate-adapted, resilient, healthy cities.
At the 2018 UN Biodiversity Conference, Ecologic Institute's Hugh McDonald and Sandra Naumann presented and discussed Ecologic work on nature-based solutions and managing aquatic biodiversity. The UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP 14) took place from 13 to 29 November 2018 in Sharm el-Sheikh (Egypt). Approximately 3,800 representatives from government, NGOs, indigenous groups, academia, business and civil society came together to discuss the theme "Investing in biodiversity for people and planet".
On Saturday, 8 December 2018, Ecologic Institute hosted a side event in the EU Pavilion at the COP24 in Katowice (Poland), in cooperation with ICLEI Europe. Invited practitioners and experts discussed the role nature-based solutions (NBS) and multi-level governance play in facilitating the transition of cities and regions to carbon-neutrality.
In July 2018, Sandra Naumann from the Ecologic Institute joined the 2nd International Seminar on nature-based solutions in Brasilia (Brazil) to discuss the state of knowledge, experiences and challenges to implement nature-based solutions (NBS). She presented an overview of the almost 1000 NBS contained within the Urban Nature Atlas as well as results from the EU and national policy review conducted as part of the EU-funded NATURVATION project. Attendees included over 100 representatives of Brazilian and European cities, national and local authorities and decision makers, research, business and international organisations. The presentation slides are available online.
Nature-based solutions (NBS) are increasingly being adopted as an effective tool to address urban challenges. But, to what extent do current policy frameworks support or hinder their implementation? This report examines if and how the concept of NBS is addressed in select EU and Member State policies and funding instruments. The report was published within the Horizon 2020 project NATURVATION and is available for download.